students on research vessel

Our Pillars: What makes us different?

We are an advanced research laboratory, not a large academic institution. We use this to our advantage. We don’t have departments or boundaries between disciplines, which are often segregated to different areas of a campus. Our curriculum is born out of active research. Our educators are working scientists at the forefront of their field. Students gain experience and build relationships in an open-concept laboratory with an open-door culture, enabling them to learn in an environment without walls – both literally and figuratively.

Here are some of the key ways our educational programs differ:

Dave FIelds and a student on an RV.

Hands-on experience. State-of-the-art technology.

Answering today’s most pressing questions takes the latest knowledge and access to a broad range of techniques and tools – from single-cell genomics to supercomputers. You’ll have access to the ideas and equipment used at the frontiers of ocean science, both in the lab and on the water.

Maura Niemisto and a student on an RV.

Fundamental learning from a foundational science lab.

Our programs help you develop a lifelong relationship with the scientific method and mindset. Whether you’re in high school, a recent graduate, or an established professional, we will equip you with the experience and inspiration to pursue whatever comes next in your journey – whether it’s ocean science or another field altogether.

Two scientists in the lab.

Creative science at the cutting edge.

Our immersive programs are taught by practicing scientists at the forefront of their field.. This means our curriculum isn’t beholden to textbooks; it’s born from the science studied and research conducted right now.

Aerial view of Bigelow Laboratory.

At the front line of our changing climate.

Our campus is on the shores of the Gulf of Maine, renowned for its beauty and its importance to coastal communities and to wildlife at every level of the food web. While we study the oceans from the poles to the tropics, the rapidly warming waters of our own gulf make it an ideal place to work toward solutions and develop an intimacy with science that affects your life, and your world, every day.

Dave FIelds and a student on an RV.

Big enough for depth. Small enough for connection.

Because of the optimal size of our organization, our students develop real relationships with researchers that have vastly different backgrounds, interests, and areas of study. This unique, interdisciplinary experience gives students the opportunity to explore many different scientific specialities and technologies, and our same scientists never miss a chance to support them – whether it’s in the classroom, in the lab, or even during staff picnics. Ideas and opportunities are born out of these connections, leading to everything from lifelong professional connections to fieldwork opportunities and research paper publications.